2014 Top NBA BackCourts 11. #OrlandoMagic

11. Elfrid Payton/ Victor Oladipo

                Magic were so high on Payton that they decided to pass up on Exum, and take a project that in Aaron Gordon with their lottery pick while grabbing their future PG in the process. Payton, right off the bat resembles a young Rajon Rondo, his will to defend, court vision, exceptional rebounding, and excellent transition defense.  Coming from a mid major very few knew much about Payton, but by the end of the workouts there was no questioning that he was one of the top guards in the draft. Magic fans should expect him to have his usual Rookie woes, especially with turnovers as he gets accustomed to the NBA speed, and new teammates, but after he puts it all together, and gets a hold of this offense, the Magic will look like a much improved team, and no one will be happier than Victor Oladipo. Oladipo, a lottery pick last year for the magic, was forced to play the PG position at times which is something he couldn’t grasp and often struggled to do. Now that Payton is here Oladipo can simply do what he excels at, attacking the basket with no fear, and continuing to improve him jumpshot. Because Oladipo still doesn’t have a consistent jumpshot, and neither does Payton defenses will at times just pack it in one them and try to force them to shoot. However, if Oladipo can start to shoot more consistently and Payton becomes at least respectable along with the fact that both have world class speed and can get to basket at will, teams will have a very hard time containing the two. On the defensive end both are spectacular on-ball defenders and from day one they’ll be giving opposing backcourts headaches. For the Orlando kids it’s all about gaining experience with one another, and developing their games, but as soon as that comes together they could easily become a top 5 backcourt within the next two years. 

Oladipo Highlights:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlU46dJkKQA

Payon Highlights:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_eCO9AkP-w

What Should #Celtics expect from James Young

Offense

Young was a streaky shooter in college, but proved that he could hit big time shots when team needed it most, and excels coming off screen. Shows a will to attack the basket constantly, but doesn’t use his right hand much, and has a tendency to run in to traffic in the paint and throw up a low percentage shot. Still hasn’t developed a post game or any go to moves when needed so most of his points come off being set up by dribble penetration, screens, and transition baskets. Young is a much underrated athlete, an alley-oop threat and can elevate in traffic, most notably by “The Dunk” which gave him most of his national attention. Because of his unique size his able to get his shot over defenders without gaining much separation and is a proven tough shot maker though his shot selection still needs improvement.

Defense

At 6’7 with a 7’0 wingspan Young has the physical attributes to be a lockdown defender. However, in college he showed a lack of focus during off-ball situations and poor lateral movement when guarding on-ball. Most people think Young can play the 2 or the 3, but until he becomes more locked in on defense he’ll get most of his play time at the 3 because 2’s in this league will have a field day with him at this stage. Because of his long reach Young at his full potential should be able to come away with a lot of steals and blocks and could even find himself playing the 4 at rare times when he puts some more muscle on his frame.

What’s his potential?

Young if he lives up to what most think is his potential could easily be am all star caliber player. A lot of the weaknesses he has in game are mostly due to his age (turning 19 on August 16th) so they shouldn’t be taking as any serious red flags. Once he bulks up and becomes more comfortable with his right hand he’ll be able to develop a more sound offensive game, and because of his length will never have to gain much separation to get his shot off. Based on his attitude and how some of the comments his made throughout the off season he shows a lot of maturity especially for such a young guy, so Boston fans should expect a hard worker who will put all his effort in becoming better. In terms of player comparison I would say Tracy Mcgrady, around the same size and tools; it’s just a matter of Young putting it all together.

What to expect this year?

                Not a lot. With a crowded guard and win position, Young will get inconsistent and few minutes to start the season, but expect an increase near the end of the year when Celtics clear out a bit of their roster, and will be looking to play the Young guys more. Young wasn’t drafted as an instant NBA ready player, but more as a project that had more potential than anyone else on the board at the time. However, with Rondo being a ball dominant point guard and Young being great at coming off screens and utilizing set plays he could build a repertoire with Rondo that would force Stevens to put him on the floor more than expected, but as of now they’re not looking to rush Young and neither should we, the future will be bright for him.

James young Highlights:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYKw3F_PxnI

Best Backcourts 2014 12. Pelicans- Jrue Holiday/Eric Gordon

12. Pelicans- Jrue Holiday/ Eric Gordon

The Pelicans look to be entering a year where their ready to compete. Jrue Holiday and Eric Gordon will be a big part of that. Though both were injured a lot last year their skill sets together should be able to lead this Pelicans team to a lot more success than last season. Looking at Jrue Holiday, though he was injured for most of the year showed that he is a productive pg averaging 14/8/4 while shooting 47% from the field. Holiday excels at the pick and roll offensively where he can pick apart defenses with his passing ability, or getting high percentage shots from mid range or by taking it to the hoop. He shoots 39% from 3, but he also takes under 3 a game which does show his maturity in knowing what spots to pick and which ones not too. Defensively his average, struggles a little with pick and roll but seems to be a capable on-ball defender. Because of his passing instincts, teammates stay active offensively, and the Pelicans offense ran fluent with him on the floor, especially with our next player, Eric Gordon. When you think Eric Gordon the one thing that should come to your mind is scoring, because that’s his game. Though his been plagued with injuries throughout his career, when his played his always shown the ability to score, and he does it in a variety of ways. P&R,Mid-range,coming off screen, spot ups Gordon has a plethora of methods in which he can score which make playing with a pass-first pg like Holiday the perfect pick because he can easily give him the ball from anywhere and he can produce. If the two can stay on the court the whole year and be healthy they will be a young fast and exciting team to pair with Tyreke Evans, Anthony Davis, and Omeir Asik, but that is a big IF.  

Jrue Holiday Highlights

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocgSTVbQ3w8

Eric Gordon Highlights

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hna3Ip0fUg8